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Meditation for Diwali

Meditation for Diwali - Part 1.
Conquering Lust - Excerpts from a lecture by HH Radhanath Swami Maharaj

What does it mean to be purified ?

The soul is essentially pure. Just as the sun in the sky is pure. And the rays of the sun are light giving and beneficial for all living beings. But when the sun is obscured by a cloud, it cannot be perceived. Similarly the beauty of the soul, who is a part of God, cannot be appreciated as long as it is covered by the cloud of ignorance. The spirit soul being part of Krishna, has all the qualities of God in minute quantities. All the opulences of God are reflected by the soul. But the cloud of ignorance hides the pure transcendental qualities of the soul. When covered, what we see are the symptoms of ignorance - Lust, Anger, Greed, Envy, Illusion, and pride. The six enemies of the soul are very powerful, because they are completely empowered by Maya or the illusory energy. Krishna declares in the Gita that these six enemies are unconquerable, very difficult to over come.

Lust is the greatest enemy. Sometimes with our logic, reasoning, our knowledge, we know that something is not right. We know the consequences of engaging in certain activities. Yet there is a force within us that impels us, forces us to engage in abominable things. Arjuna asked Krishna in the Gita, what is that force. Who is it that is impelling me to engage in abominable activities as if by force. Krishna responded, it is lust only, Arjuna, which is born of the material mode of passion, which is later turned into wrath which is the all devouring sinful enemy of this world.

So what does lust mean. Some people have a very crude conception that lust means some erotic relationship, illicitly. That is a very very horribly gross idea of kama. But actually, kama means any desire that is separate from God. So even some of the most pious, religious, sophisticated men are victims are kama, in the true sense. Anything that is used for any other purpose independent of God is considered in the Bhagavad Gita as Kama, lust, the all-devouring sinful enemy of the world.

So how to conquer this all-devouring sinful enemy. There is a method ... And it a sure 100% method. And the supreme Lord showed us the method in a wonderful way. He sent to this world, lust personified. Ravana. Ravana was the most striking emblem of lust in the history of all creation.

Sita Devi is the wife of Ram. Sita is none other than an expansion of Lakshmi Devi, the goddess of fortune. All the fortune of the world is the energy of Sita. What is fortune .. Fortune does not simply mean money. Fortune means anything good. Fortune means good health, popularity, comforts in life, good friendship, good family, etc. Fortune means anything good in this world. And to loose anything good is misfortune.

So anything that is good … anything that we like in this world, is the energy of Lakshmi devi. Lakshmi devi never ever ever leaves the feet of Narayana. She is always closest to the heart of Narayan. Infact one of the names of Vishnu is Sreenivas, which means Vishnu always has Sri, Lakshmi, close to His heart. So what happens when we take the fortune of this world and try to separate it from Vishnu, for our own satisfaction ?

Lakshmi expands Herself, same energy, same person, but she appears as Durga. Durga, in Sanskrit, literally means prison. When you see Lakshmi, you see lotus flower in Her hand, which is a sign of auspiciousness, victory, success, beauty and opulence. In another hand she is offering her blessings. For those who approach her by using her energy in the service of Vishnu, she appears before that person in this beautiful form. But those who take her and try to user her, to exploit her, in their sense gratification, instead of offering her to Vishnu, she appears as Durga.

Durga does not carry lotus flowers. She carries, swords and tridents, and clubs. The trident is the most formidable weapon. It has 3 throngs. Which signify the 3 fold miseries of the material world - Miseries caused by ones own body and mind, such as mental distress, worrying, physical disease, old age. Miseries caused by other living beings - sometimes people insult you, sometime they cheat you, exploit you, sometimes even your loved ones completely disappoint you. And miseries caused by natural disturbances - such as too much heat, cold, rain, wind, volcanoes, cyclone, tornadoes. Durga devi is constantly keeping those persons who are under her control in line with this trident, stabbing their heart with the 3 fold miseries of material existence.

Meditation for Diwali - Part 2.
Conquering Lust - Excerpts from a lecture by HH Radhanath Swami Maharaj

Lakshmi devi appeared as Goddess Sita. And everyone knows Sita is exclusively meant for Rama. What is the definition of love? Love means to assist Sita in her affair with Ram. Is that not what Hanuman, Sugriva, Lakshman, and the residents of Ayodhya did ? The only desire of the residents of Ayodhya was to see Ram and Sita happy.

They had no false ego. Their only desire was to see Sita and Ram together happy. So when they saw Ram and Sita happy, that gave them the most ultimate bliss, ecstasy and satisfaction in life. The residents of Ayodhya, their bliss, their happiness is in-comprehendable by material minds.

But Ravana, he wanted to take Sita for himself. That is called Kama or lust. In Caitanya Caritamrita, Krishnadas Kaviraj Goswami describes - love is that natural inclination of the soul to want to give pleasure to God. But when the natural affection for God is misplaced, in trying to enjoy the property of God for our own selfish desire, then that love is transformed into lust. Love and lust is the same energy. Same inclination within us. Prema is when that energy is placed toward God. When it is placed anywhere else, it is called Kama or lust.

So Ravana was very tricky. He disguised himself and stole Sita. And ofcourse we read from the Ramayan of Valmiki muni, how Lord Ram and His brother Lakshman looking for Goddess Sita made alliances with Sugriva nad Hanuma and together with a great army, they attacked the island of Sri Lanka. And Ravana was so powerful that no one could defeat him. Between Ravana, Indrajit, Kumbhakarna and the other Rakshasas, even the demi gods were totally robbed of any pride and were living in utter fear. They were totally unconquerable by any jivatma.

Ravana was the symbol of Kama. And know that any desire you have to enjoy separate from the lord is due to the presence of Ravana in your heart. Lord Sri Ramachandra wanted to really show to the world, how powerful Ravana was, how powerful lust really is. Everytime he cut off the heads of Ravana, another one grew. Doesn't that sound like our own material desires ? Everytime you do some yajna, sacrifice, puja and you give up one material sinful desire and immediately another head grows.

And you perform penances, practice yoga, take vows, to give up this lusty propensity in your heart and finally you conquer it … and then … another head grows. Those who are on the spiritual path, know that as soon as you cut down one head, 10 more grows. It is an endless battle. Finally Rama shot His arrow into Ravana's heart. When the arrow pierced the heart, Ravana fell to the ground.

Rama is the only one who has this arrow. That arrow cannot be obtained by any mortal, any jiva, any living entity. It is the exclusive power of Ram. That is why Lord Krishna says in the Gita, This material energy is very very difficult to overcome. But one who surrenders unto me I take the war in my own hands. I will conquer lust. I will conquer Ravana within your heart. For me it is not difficult. He says, after many births and deaths of practicing various religious systems in the world, the mystic processes of Yoga, when one finally comes to the point of knowledge, he finally surrenders to Vasudeva. Surrenders to Krishna. Surrenders to Rama. Knowing Him to the cause of all causes and the supreme of all that is. When you surrender to the Lord, you put your life under His protection. That is the difference between bhakti and other yoga systems.

The other yoga systems by meditation, pranayama, yoga asanas, discrimatory power of jnana or knowledge, we are trying to conquer Ravana within our own heart. By any yogic process, by our own endeavor, it is impossible for any length of time to conquer Ravana within our heart. But Krishna says, through the process of Bhakti, one can understand Me as I am. Abandon all yoga processes, abandon all varieties of religion, and just surrender unto Me and I will protect you. I will take care of you. I will kill all the demons in your heart, with My arrows. When we surrender to the Lord, Ram appears within our heart.

When we remember Krishna, when we remember Lord Ramchandra ji, He is non-different from that rememberance. The process of Bhakti is to always remember the Lord, to be His devotee, to always worship Him and to offer homage unto Him. Through this process Ram appears within our heart and with His mighty arrows, he shoots right into the heart of Ravana and all his heads and everything else falls and disappears from our life eternally.

Dussehra is the celebration of the grand victory of Lord Ramachandra over the mighty demon Ravana. And ofcourse this is a factual historical event that took place in Sri Lanka, during the Treta Yuga, but know that it is also a lila that can take place within your heart when you take shelter of Lord Ramachandra. And therefore on this day, in preparation for this day, we should truly meditate on what this lila truly means to us. What it means to our life. The symbol of kama, ravana who is dwelling in the heart of all living souls, and is the single deadly enemy of every living being can all be defeated by the mighty glory of Rama. By remembering Rama, He appears within our heart. By remembering Him, He kills all the demons within our heart.

Therefore Lord Kapila explains in all the scriptures throughout the world, there are so many vows, so many rituals, so much philosophy but it is all meant to bring us to one simple conclusion. To always remember Krishna and to never forget Krishna. Caitanya Mahaprabhu has said Krishna is like the sun. And maya, ignorance, with all of her consorts, all these demons are like darkness. In the presence of the sun, darkness cannot exist. When we remember God, with devotion in our hearts all the bad qualities, all illusion and all ignorance is dispelled.

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